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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Government's mixed message for women

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM

PregnantBelly.jpg
  • MestreechCity

All right, let’s recap: The federal government is going to force insurers to cover birth control, including “the morning after pill,” without a co-pay, but our antiquated state government is going to torment pregnant women if they choose to have an abortion with unnecessary and sadistic new regulations. OK. Got that.

Of course, the Right is whining about making birth control more accessible (the idea of making any of their corporate buddies do anything other than write checks to their campaigns seems unsettling to them). Meanwhile, the Left is pointing out that if we give women birth control, we can avoid abortions and all of the other costs that come along with unplanned, unwanted pregnancies — of which there are many, we’re talking about a lifetime’s worth, right?

At the same time, the Right is happy to cut education funding, environmental oversight (note: pollution often impacts the health of pregnant women, fetuses and young children fastest and most fiercely), etc., too.

And, let’s not forget that the world is already overcrowded and overburdened and that we’re already facing near-term shortages of critical natural resources.

So, um, why does the Right want us to have babies we don’t want and that society can’t care for? This is where I get lost. Please, someone fill me in. I mean, this can’t just be about us getting our jollies off too much, can it? (And, I’ll go ahead and assert that if we all got laid more, the world would be a happier place.)

Seriously, what is the Right thinking on this one? Birth control is one of the best things that ever happened for women — and for society as a whole.

From The Daily Beast:

Starting in 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday, insurance companies will be compelled to cover a wide range of women’s health services, from testing for gestational diabetes to counseling about domestic violence, without requiring a copayment. But it was HHS’ inclusion of free contraception in the slate of services to be classified as preventive care that grabbed all the headlines.

The news comes shortly after the Institute of Medicine issued a report recommending what services should be offered without extra cost to female patients. Even those in the reproductive-health community who have long advocated for free birth control as common-sense policy were surprised at the haste with which HHS announced the adoption of the IOM’s recommendations. The idea of free birth control for all falls in the rarely acknowledged gray area between boring old medical regulations and the promise of unrestrained sexual ecstasies—or at least so I’m told by some of the angrier pundits on Fox News—and the department’s quick turnaround allowed it to sidestep an opposition that was just starting to heat up its arguments. Still, Bill O’Reilly did manage to squeeze in one memorable statement, claiming that free birth-control pills wouldn’t work because women who get pregnant are too drunk to use their birth control when they have sex. (No one on O’Reilly’s show bothered to correct his false assumption that you have to take the pill during sex for it to be effective.)

Read the rest of this post, by Amanda Marcotte, here.

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